Turner hopes second time a charm

Will Norv Turner be the next Bill Bellichick?

Time will tell but the Oakland Raiders hope so after announcing him as the man to replace the dismissed Bill Callahan at a press conference Monday that also aired in its entirety on KNBR 1050, the Raiders flagship station.

Bellichick is as bright of a defensive mind as Turner is on the offensive side. When Bellichick got his first head-coaching job, however, with the former Cleveland Browns, he was a washout. Bellichick coached there for five seasons and posted a 37-45 record before Cleveland dismissed him.

Bellichick then returned to the sidelines as an assistant under Bill Parcells with the New York Jets. Bellichick returned to the sideline as a head coach for the New England Patroits in 2000. Bellichick led the Patriots to a 5-11 season in his first year but is now looking to lead New England to its second Super Bowl championship in three seasons on Sunday against the Carolina Panthers.

Turner has enjoyed much success as an offensive coordinator, notably in helping the Dallas Cowboys win consecutive Super Bowls in 1992-1993. Turner, however, did not enjoy much success in seven seasons as the Washington Redskins head coach in seven seasons. Turner compiled a 49-59-1 record in that span with Washington achieving just one playoff berth.

Turner comes to Oakland after serving as the Miami Dolphins offensive coordinator while running back Ricky Williams enjoyed the best two-year run in franchise history.

"There are so many examples of guys that have been head coaches and for whatever reason they became assistants again," Turner said. "I don't think you ever say never. The biggest thing I find is that you keep doing the best job you can and believe in what you're doing. At some point, that opportunity may present itself."

While it remains to be seen if Turner can achieve the same success as Bellichick, he believes he is better prepared to be a head coach now.

"There's always a checklist," Turner said. "Every job and every year there's things you look at and things you do. You've got to keep growing. I'm a better coach today. I'm more experienced. I've been exposed to more things."

Raiders owner Al Davis interviewed Turner twice but to the surprise of many did not wait until after the Super Bowl to possibly consider New England offensive coordinator Charlie Weis and defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel.

"I thought it was the right fit at the right time," Davis said. "I know the other coaches and I no way would I demean their excellent ability. They're in the super bowl and I know them but in thought this was the right fit for us at this time."

Vince D'Adamo can be reached at vdad7@yahoo.com

SB Report Top Stories